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Merle Tinker, passed away unexpectedly October 8, 2022, at Mid-Columbia Medical Center in The Dalles, Oregon. He was 79 years old.
Merle Irwin Tinker was born September 14, 1943, in Ferdonia, Kansas to Joseph and Audrey Tinke... Read More
Merle Tinker, passed away unexpectedly October 8, 2022, at Mid-Columbia Medical Center in The Dalles, Oregon. He was 79 years old.
Merle Irwin Tinker was born September 14, 1943, in Ferdonia, Kansas to Joseph and Audrey Tinker and joined older brothers Lawrence and Lavon. When Merle was still very young, his parents moved the family out west to Washington, where his younger brother Earl was born. The family eventually settled in Omak, Washington where the four boys were raised.
Merle spent a great deal of time outdoors with his brothers in Omak where he attended school and was part of Omak High School’s class of 1963. It was in Omak where he met his friend Jerry Thomas, both of whom ended up eventually moving to Hood River where they continued their life-long friendship.
It was after Merle moved to Hood River when he met the love of his life, Christine Lowe, in the fall of 1970 through a mutual friend. They married January 5, 1974 in Hood River. He and Chris enjoyed 35 years together and were inseparable. For a number of years, they square danced with the Wy’east Whirlers and took pleasure in going to classic car shows and traveling together.
Family was always extremely important to Merle and Chris and together, they attended every event in their family’s lives. They never missed an occasion and were always available whenever you needed them. Although he and Chris never had any children of their own, Merle poured all his love and attention onto his nieces and nephews. Their home was the central meeting place for everyone, and the family spent many holidays and Saturday nights there playing cards and eating great food. They will forever be remembered by the family for making the best mashed potatoes and French toast ever! Merle took great joy in playing games and racked up too many games of Pinochle and Skip-Bo to count over the years. He was also skilled with dice and loved to play the board game Aggravation. Most of his nieces and nephews had given up playing against him as he always was able to roll whatever number he needed to beat them and let the game truly live up to its name.
Merle loved spending time with family and friends. He frequently traveled up to his hometown of Omak to visit his brothers and their families. One of his favorite times to go there was during the Omak Stampede. He enjoyed attending rodeos and was a country boy at heart. He couldn’t get enough of country music and was always seen sporting his cowboy hat, snakeskin boots and black tasseled vest for any and all special occasions.
Merle had many hobbies and interests. He loved the outdoors and was an avid archery and rifle hunter. He looked forward to his annual hunting trips with his friends and family. He bowled on league for many years and loved to tinker around with his HAM radio where he took the handle of “Road Runner.” In his downtime he loved watching movies, riding his four-wheeler and going for drives, particularly any opportunity where he was able to show off Chris’ light blue ’57 Chevy.
Merle was an extremely hard worker and took great pride in whatever task he undertook. He worked for many years as a saw filer at Hanel Lumber Company until it closed. Merle enjoyed working for the mill and made many friends at Hanel’s. He then went on to work for Tum-A-Lum Lumber and SDS Lumber.
A few years into his retirement, Merle’s life was shattered when he unexpectedly lost Chris in 2009. Chris was the love of his life and in each other they found their soulmate. His life was just not the same without her and eventually Merle decided he needed a change of scenery and sold the home they shared together in Hood River and moved to The Dalles in 2013. Even with this move to The Dalles though, Merle always considered Hood River his true home.
Throughout his life, Merle was a lot of fun. He was always up for games and didn’t like to disappoint anyone. He was incredibly onery, but always with such a great sense of humor that you couldn’t help but like him. He was a big man with a huge heart. A devoted husband, brother, uncle and friend. The family takes comfort in knowing that he has finally been reunited with Chris and they are together making each other laugh.
Merle is survived by his brother Lawrence and his wife Cathy Tinker of Illinois; brother Earl and his wife Avis of Omak, Wash.; nephews Robert and Ryan Tinker of Omak, Wash., and nephew Dean Tinker of Spokane, Wash; niece Lisa Best of Illinois; his sister-in-law Diane Kawachi and her husband Steve; his brothers-in-law Kenny Lowe and his wife Lela and Gary Lowe; and nieces and nephews Brandon, LisaAnn and Michelle Kawachi, Alia and Ashley Lowe and Ryan and Matthew Lowe all of Hood River, Ore. He was preceded in death by his beloved wife Chris, his brother Lavon, his parents Joe and Audrey Tinker, and Chris’ parents Everett and Genny Lowe.
A service to mourn Merle’s passing and celebrate his life is planned for 1pm, Friday, October 21, 2022 at Anderson’s Tribute Center (Funerals • Receptions • Cremations) 1401 Belmont Avenue, Hood River, OR 97031. Vault interment will follow at Mt. View Cemetery in Hood River where Merle will be laid to rest next to Chris.
Please visit www.andersonstributecenter.com to sign the family guest book.
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